Our House of Cards



Original poster
Rain again, just like yesterday and the day before that. Heavy rain that pounded on the roof tops like a drum being played horrendously. Though the sound of the rain was far more soothing and alluring than a simple beating of a ill played drum. Outside, beyond the glass of the window pane, a torrential downpour cloaked the world in a hazy curtain of mystical illusion. All the people outside desperately ran for shelter from the rain.

On the corner of Marble Street, hidden among the stretch of shops, was a little video rental store named "Hal's Video Rental". This tiny store was no Blockbuster store however it supplied the small town of Havenport with a place to check out videos at a low cost. Inside this box of a store, were rows of movies on racks alphabetize by name. Despite the numerous times trying to clean the carpets, they still looked dingy and riddled with stains caused by various of soft drinks and liquid candy. The movie racks had a slight film of rust forming upon its aged metallic surface. The floursent lights over head flickered on and off with a buzzing noise accompanying the flickering. The sole window was perched in the front of the store with fadded smudges upon its glossy glass shell. The cramped gray colored counter stood at the front of the store overlooking the entrance.

Marcus went up and down the aisle of movies categorize by the letter "C". Sadly some patrons didn't put forth the effort to return the movies that they took off the rack back to their rightful place. It was suppose to be time for his break but he was the only one manning the store tonight. However, Marcus always worked on his break time. It wasn't anything new and sadly he grew accustomed to it. The filing of movies helped keep his mind distracted by all the sorrow that was welled up deep inside him. Anything to keep his mind preoccupied so the faces of his deceased wife and children wouldn't haunt his thoughts. Marcus sighed as he dropped a movie to the floor. His bent his tall dark skinned frame over to pick up the object. His shaved head showing bumps along his scalp.
A woman with fair skin made her way through the hazy streets and through the freezing cold rain. It had been raining for days now, the downpour kept people locking themselves inside their homes. She would have too if she didn't have to get to work. This job was all she had left in her life. Her pervious boyfriend who had not long since left, left her with scars and brusies hidden by her work uniform. She held the umbrella fast in her shaking cold hands as she dashed across the parking lot and into the store.The door swung shut and The woman closed her umbrella; straitening out her long rich brown hair, it falling down to her mid-back. Sophie looked across the store with her big emerald green eyes. One employee was already here, placing movies upon the rusting racks of the store under the flickering floursent lights. The buzzing coming from the light most often drove her insane but she delt with it...it was not by far the worst that had happened to her in her life as of yet.

She didn't expect much from anyone around this town..they had all let her down in the past...Sophie was now just trying to get by on the overtime wages of the store. The woman put her umbrella behind the counter and slowly walked past Marcus. She stopped just behind him. Carefully the lady went back over and leaned over herself, picking up the movie. She stepped back and bit her lip and reached out, handing the movie to him. Her hand shaking and trembling all the while. Sophie's long hair falling in her face as she didn't look him in the eye. Her Ex-Boyfriend usually beat her if she looked him in the eye while she talked to him. And several times a day till someone stepped in for her he sexually abused her. This whole ordeal left Sophie terrorfied of men. It had been years since she would go out of her way to help the gender that had caused her so much pain and psyhcological damage...She remember every single event like it was yesterday. No matter how much she wanted it to go away, the scars on her legs only just showed that the pain...the memories would never leave her be.

She waited to see what he would do. The woman's thin frame trembled, hoping that she hadn't done anything wrong...
Marcus didn't possessed very attuned perception. To prove this, he didn't register the sound of the bell that was made when the door open to announce that a customer had come in. The movie he had dropped was suddenly picked up. Marcus blinked for a moment before realizing that someone was in his company. He straighten his body up and turned to see that before him as a lady with long brown hair that brought out a sense of longing nostalgia within him. A small smile with hints of sadness playing at the corners of his mouth, grew upon his rugged and emotionally scarred exterior. The feeble lady before him looked terrified which played on Marcus's sense of chivalry.

"Thank you miss" he said taking the movie ever so gently from her hand, "Are you here to check out a movie? I can help you the best I can." offered Marcus, not taking note of her clothing. Vivian, she looks so like you.
She looked up hesitantly as he stood up strait. A small smile grew across his lips, tainted by that all too familiar sense of sadness. This man looked like he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders...he then spoke.

"Thank you miss." he said.

A look of suprise crossed her bright emerald green eyes. She had never been thanked before. It felt good...but wierd. She nodded as if to say your welcome. He reached out and gently took the movie from her hands. So gentle in fact it didn't seem normal for a man to be so. Or maybe she had just never been treated so carefully and gently. Her hands shot back to her sides. It was a reflex now more than anything. He offered to help her find a movie. She shook her head a bit quickly, looking back down at the floor.

"N-No thank you...I came here because I am the new hired help...I-I can do whatever needs to be done...I won't be useless...I promise."

that word stuck out in her speech and in her mind. She had been such a useless girlfriend...that is why her body was littered with bruises and cuts...She deserved them...
Marcus smile had turned into a frown. He believed that he offended the poor looking girl. From her body language, she seemed to be accustomed to turmoil. When she said useless, Marcus felt something in the pit of his heart sink. Such a beautiful girl calling herself useless was something that Marcus felt that he could never understand. Then an image of his wife came to his mind. 'Please Vivian not now, not in front of a stranger'

"Believe me miss, you won't be useless. I could use the an extra hand around here. Before you came along, it was only me taking care of this place." he placed the movie back in its rightful place before turning his attention back to the new hired help, his dark brown eyes meeting her luscious green eyes. "And please forgive me if I offended you earlier. I don't have very good people skills." he chuckled a bit, hoping his awkward joke would ease the woman's tension.

"Um if you won't mind me asking, what experience have you had?" he said, taking a few steps away from the girl then realized that she wasn't following him. He turned around with a friendly smile playing at his lips. "Want some popcorn while we talk? I can buy some and throw it in the microwave. If we don't get any customers than at least a purchase was made, right?" awkwardly joked Marcus, hoping he wasn't being too bold.
Sophie looked back down at the ground as a frown came across the man's lips. She had done wrong after all...What had she expected from a man? Nothing she ever did could make anyone happy. As he started to speak she couldn't help but look up at him again through her long hair. As he ashured her she wouldn't be useless it felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders. He returned the movie and looked her in the eyes. Slowly, but shakily she stood up as strait. Then something else new to her...he apologized. He apoligized if he had offended her and for his poor people skills. When he chuckled a bit, she could feel even more weight fall off her shoulders and the feeling in the room became a bir lighter. A bit of tension slipped from her body. He then asked her about her experince.

"Umm...I had a job in high school...my junior and senior year but once I graduated I quit and went to collage. I dropped out of collage after I met my current ex-boyfriend and followed him around. I got pregnant and decided that I wouldn't go back to school since he worked but things got out of hand...and my parents took my daughter. Were sepreated now and I needed a job...I was lucky at all to find anything..."

She tried to managed a smile, but no matter how hard she tried...the size of smile she inteneded wouldn't come. He turned around and took a few steps before stopping and looking at her again, a friendly smile playing at his lips. She could tell...since she had herself...that he had gone through a great deal of hardships in his time here on Earth. She nodded and accepted his invitation for popcorn. The woman hard hardly a thing to eat at her appartment so why not? Plus he didn't seem too bad...She Timidly followed him, her body still a bit shaky.